Rehearsal dinner near downtown
We're looking for a good, interesting, but not too expensive place near downtown to host a rehearsal dinner. We live/work on the westside, so we aren't familiar with the secret (or even not-so-secret) gems in that area and would love some chowhound suggestions.
Here's what we're looking for:
- Downtown or near downtown (guests will be staying in that area, and while we're willing to ask them to drive a little, most aren't familiar with LA and we'll be dealing with Friday evening traffic, so we don't want it to be too far).
- Something other than Italian (the wedding food will be Italian) - we'd love something ethnic (maybe Greek, Thai or Spanish, but we're open to ideas) that won't be too intimidating for our less adventurous guests.
- Can accomodate approximately 50-60 people in one room (probably including at least a few kids).
- Good food (of course) and reasonably priced wine/beer (or will let us bring our own).
If we could get all of this for less than $40-50/pp, we'd be ecstatic! I know it's a tall order, but does anyone have any suggestions?
Even though Ciao Trattoria is Italian, you would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful room than the lobby they rent for catering next door. Like something out of a movie. I walked by once on New Year's Eve and the place looks amazing...and it very centrally located on 7th Street downtown.
You might consider Empress Pavilion in Chinatown, which could put together a great banquet for that price per head and wall off a private space for your group. Or, for a more unusual venue, you might try Tiara Cafe in the Fashion District, which just started serving dinner. It's a smallish space so you'd probably have the whole restaurant.
By happenstance I am doing research right now to find a venue downtown for a retirement work event for a hundred people, about the same budget as yours (actually not more than 40 bucks).
Below is my working list (minus hotels). Some listed below only fit my budget for lunch menu, but I think would work for you/dinner...? Also need to take weather into consideration as some are out door settings, works for me as event in June.
So if I can piggy back..I would like some recs as well!
Ciudad-(Spanish/ pan latin, I think this may fit your needs...)
Cafe Pinot (nice out door setting, good food.
Liberty Grill (fits my budget, but not sure about the food
(Italian, won't work for you
re: LaLa Eat
Thanks for the suggestions! Since LaLa Eat is planning a similar event, I wanted to share a couple additional recommendations I got from friends. These are less downtown than surrounding areas, so I'm not sure how much they'll help you, but just in case:
Saladang Thai in Pasadena
Cobras and Matadors in Los Feliz
Chichen Itza in Downtown
Alegria on Sunset in Silverlake
Thanks Hungry Hippo!
Good environment for a party at Saladang..
I had not thought about the McArthur Park location of Chichen Itza, think they could fit your party, the food is excellent and we have had them cater work events before..
I would not recommend Alegria, too small and not "nice" enough for an event.
Do not think Cobra's does events...
Currently looking into USC as we have working relationship with them..
re: LaLa Eat
Haven't been to Liberty Grill. I'm not sold on the food at the rest of these places, which I've been to many times. Definitely my favorite group experiences are at Golondrina.
Ranking from most fun to least fun
Ranking just based on food, best to worst